Everything on Earth that occupies space and has weight is called matter.
All matter is made from small particles called atoms and molecules.
Matter can be classified into three states based on certain properties and the molecular arrangement.
States of Matter #1 – Solids
The molecules of solids are tightly packed, usually in a regular pattern.
They keep their shape unless some force is applied on it.
Solids do not flow, since their molecules are strongly attracted to each other. Solids cannot be compressed, since the molecules are already touching each other and cannot be squashed any more.
States of Matter #2 – Liquids
Molecules in liquids are close together but not necessarily touching each other. There is no pattern as they randomly move about in all directions.
Liquids do not keep their shape, they take the shape of the container they are in. They flow easily since the particles can easily move past each other.
When you compress a liquid, the molecules will end up touching each other and hence they maintain volume and becomes difficult to compress.
States of Matter #3 – Gases
Gases are made up of very loosely packed molecules that are largely spread out, moving all over the flask.
Since there is no force holding them together, gases do not keep shape and they completely fill the container that they are in. Gases flow very easily since their molecules move about so randomly.
Gases can be compressed, since the molecules are so far apart that the distance between them can be reduced, so that they can be brought close to each other. So, they can be transferred easily from a large container to a small container.
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